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August 14, 2014

Free Agent Watch

Week 20

by Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre


12-Team Mixed

Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins
With Arcia having played the 162nd game of his young career, his overall fantasy line— .241 average, 24 homers, 72 RBI and 61 runs scored—doesn’t exactly scream mixed league stalwart. Sure, the power is nice, but he’s also racked up 196 strikeouts over that timeframe—good for a 30.7 percent rate. That’s not going to help him improve on that batting average. However, Arcia’s track record in the minor leagues suggests that he’s not this type of player, and he seems to be heating up of late. While he’s been particularly hot in August, his turnaround has been happening for longer than that. On June 22nd, he was sitting on a 29 at-bat hitless streak and a .638 OPS for the season, but after getting a few days off, Arcia got out from underneath that boulder and has proceeded to hit .260/.350/.463 with six homers in 36 games since. That would be good enough to be relevant in most mixed leagues that start five outfielders, but Arcia’s upside exceeds what he’s done at the major league level thus far. After all, he was a career .314 hitter in the minor leagues (over 434 games). —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Wil Myers

Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
On one hand, it’s been rather surprising to see Hellickson be as successful as he’s been in the short-term since returning from elbow surgery in the offseason. On the other hand, it’s also easy to forget that he was a former top prospect (ranked ninth overall by Kevin Goldstein here at BP prior to the 2011 season) who had a 3.06 ERA over his first three seasons (spanning over 400 innings). That ERA sits at 2.03 after five starts this season, and although it’s well below his FIP of 3.83, this is anything but uncharted territory for the 27-year old starter. In both 2011 and 2012, Hellickson outperformed his FIP by a run and a half with a combination of a low BABIP and high strand rate—two things that we, as a community, have a hard time accepting as repeatable. Jason Collette wrote all about Hellickson and his tightrope walking prior to the 2013 season, and even though his career has been interrupted by a year of terrible performance and an elbow injury (not entirely unrelated), we may be back in the same place with him. There may be some rough matchups down the stretch, but he should be well worth using on Sunday at home against the Yankees. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Jeremy Hellickson, of yore

Deep Mixed

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/14)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (08/08)
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Premium Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (08/28)
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Feature Focus: Prospec... (08/14)

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